Amba Vilas Palace, commonly referred to as the Mysore Palace, is a historical building that serves as a royal residence (house). It is in the Karnataka city of Mysore. It once served as the Wadiyar dynasty's official house and the administrative centre for the Kingdom of Mysore. The palace faces the Chamundi Hills to the east and is located in the heart of Mysore. There are seven palaces total in Mysore, including this one, and it is frequently referred to as the "City of Palaces." The Mysore Palace, on the other hand, exclusively refers to the building inside the new fort.
History Of MYSORE PALACE
The Mysore Palace history goes back to the 13th century with its current ruling dynasty – the Wodeyars (or the Wadiyars as they came to be called by the British). Before the fourteenth century, King Yaduraya is claimed to have constructed a timber palace at the Old Fort Area (Puragiri). When this building was struck by lightning, the then-Maharaja Kantirava Narasa Raja Wodeyar reconstructed it with yet another beautiful wooden castle. The renowned Mysore Tiger, Tipu Sultan, seized control of this castle. This was not truly the home of Tipu Sultan. Nevertheless, he kept it until his passing in 1799, at which point it was returned to Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar II. A kitchen fire that occurred in 1897, while Princess Jayalakshmi was getting married, brought about yet another disaster for the Mysuru Palace. The building was nearly completely demolished. Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV and Maharani Kempananjammani Devi relocated to the adjacent Jaganmohan Palace and hired British architect Henry Irwin to build them a new home. Amba Vilas Palace, popularly known as the modern Mysore Palace, was reconstructed in 1912 for a cost of INR 42 lakhs. The Wadiyar Family still owns this exquisite castle in Mysore today. They reside in a small section of it while the rest of the palace has been converted into a heritage site – managed by the Government of Karnataka.
The Architecture Of MYSORE PALACE
With its captivating combination of European, Rajput, Mughal, and Hindu style architecture, the Amba Vilas Palace will take your breath away. It Is enough to stand in front of this palace to catch glimpses of the four architectural motifs: the domes reminded me of Mughal palaces, the arches and pavilions of Rajasthani palaces, the pillared windows and floors of various British palaces, and finally, the deities of Hindu palaces. Indo-Gothic or Indo Saracenic architecture would be a better description of this fusion. The massive palace structure, which measures 245 feet by 156 feet, is surrounded by well-kept gardens and has a view of the Chamunda Hills. (The rulers were Chamundeshwari devotees.)
Over 12 temples, 3 gates, and a 5-story watchtower with a gold-plated dome can be found on the palace grounds. Grey granite and pink marble stone were used to construct the palace, which has three floors. A massive statue of the goddess Gajalakshmi with her elephants is featured in the centre of the majestic arched facade to represent riches and prosperity.
Gates Of The Amba Vilas Palace
Three main gates, one each on the east, west, and south sides of Mysuru Palace. The Western location is often only open during Dasara. The South Gate is used to admit the general public. The East Gate is the most significant gate, though. Its name, "Ane Bagilu," means "Elephant's Gate" in English. The royal family and VVIPs will mostly use this. The renowned Dasara procession begins at this gate. The royal crest and coat of arms are displayed on the Ane Bagilu, which has lovely brass filigree. The Sanskrit word "nabhibhatikadachan" is written below the two-headed eagle that sits in the centre of the crest. It means "never being scared."
These are the palace's entrance gates, however you can also enter the palace grounds through a number of other arches. You will witness enormous bronze tigers when you enter via the largest door facing the Mysore Palace. These were created in the early 1900s by a British sculptor.
Gombe Thotti – The Doll’s Pavilion
Several dolls elegantly arranged along a long hallway to illustrate mythological tales or simply commonplace occurrences. The Mysore Palace's doll collection was a piece of the Royal collection. Some of the doll houses date back to the 1920s and were imported from Europe.The Gombe Thotti, albeit not a recent addition, represents the Dasara Festival heritage. This custom originated when the Kingdom of Mysore was a component of the renowned Vijayanagar Empire. These dolls are embellished and assembled throughout the 10-day celebration.
A Golden howdah is one of the modifications made to this conventional setup. Its unique feature is that 84 kilogrammes of gold are embedded throughout the wooden sculpture! Even today, Goddess Chamundeshwari rides around Mysore city on it during the Mysore Dasara Procession as it is mounted on the lead elephant.
Wrestling Courtyard At The MYSORE PALACE
You will be drawn to the Mysore Palace's first courtyard by its beautiful spiral staircase. A closer look reveals two bronze tigers guarding the courtyard's entrance. You'll then understand that this isn't just any old room.
What you saw was actually a courtyard where wrestlers compete. The Wodeyar Maharajas, the sport's biggest fans, liked wrestling here, especially during the Dusshera Festival. The sport, though, was not your typical game. Specialized wrestlers known as Jetties were involved. These wrestlers engaged in Vajramushti, a rare variation of this sport. Wearing ivory- or silver-tipped knuckle weaponry was part of the sport. As a result, the wrestling show ended up being pretty bloody.
The Jetties continue to practise vajramushti, although it is progressively losing favor. These knuckle weapons are no longer used in the modern version of this sport. Try to hear the cheers of the Royal throng sat around this courtyard as you go around the Mysore Palace's wrestling courtyard while blocking out the noise around you. You'll probably be able to visualize a real wrestling match.
The wrestling courtyard maintains the Mysore Palace's Indo-Saracenic style of construction. Indian cherubs and birds adorn the brackets that enclose the stained-glass windows. The Gothic balustrades that are located below the arched windows are another feature. The result is absolutely captivating!
Kalyana Mandapa – The Marriage Hall Of MYSORE PALACE
Your eyes will leap out when you see the marriage hall or the Kalyana Mandapa of the Amba Vilas Palace. Let's start with the ceilings, which are made of beautiful stained glass and have hues reminiscent of peacock feathers and charming flowers. The complete ceiling was imported from Scotland.
A magnificent chandelier that hangs from the ceiling contrasts the green iron pillars that surround the octagonal mandapa. Another object that was imported from Europe, specifically Czechoslovakia, is the chandelier. An interesting detail about the Mysore Palace is that the chandelier is powered by electricity. One of the first structures to have electricity for lighting was the recently built Palace.
These vibrant mosaics cover the floor of the eight-cornered hall, and an eight-star design serves as the pavilion's focal point. The star of the day may have been sitting on a stunning throne here. A peacock fashioned from the same tiles and imported from England sits in the heart of this star. Marriages, coronations, and even birthdays were held in the hall as important religious and social events! It was really utilized in 2016 for the wedding of the reigning Maharaja of Mysore.
Portraits Gallery In Mysore Maharaja’s Palace
There are numerous images and paintings of the Royal Family in the Portrait gallery close to the Kalyana Mandapa. Although several of these photos were taken in Mysore, they were developed in England because of the state of technology at the time.
The Portrait gallery enables you to learn more about the Wodeyar dynasty's real existence through images of young princes, adorable princesses, attractive queens, and Maharajas posing in front of their palaces. Look for the 3D image of Krishnaraja Wodeyar among the numerous artworks and photos. Similar to the Vatican Museum's artwork of Jesus. You'll notice that wherever you go, the Maharaja's eyes will be on you.
Keep an eye out for the rare Raja Ravi Verma paintings in this collection, particularly the one of Krishnaraja Wodeyar as a little child, while you are busy admiring these paintings.
You will be drawn into a room with Royal furniture by a beautiful rosewood door. You will be welcomed in this mosaic-covered salon by the exquisite silver chairs constructed for the visiting dignitaries, the ivory-framed mirrors, and the carved tables. The Wodeyar coat of arms, tigers, and tiger paws are all carved into the backs of the chairs in this room. Specialized temple craftsmen known as Gudiyars created the furnishings in Mysore Palace.
This room's colorful floor and the intricately carved Burma Teak Wood Ceiling is very attractive more than the furniture. Teak wood was used for adornment as well as practical purposes to keep the rooms cool and reduce the echo within.
Public Durbar Hall of Mysore Maharaja Palace
Your position will be fixed for some time by the evenly spaced arches with their golden floral filigree and the way they reflect on the polished floor. Those symmetrical arches and the elaborate ceilings they contain will stick in your memory forever. This hall's centre was occupied by the Maharaja so that his subjects could see him plainly. Green balconies on either side of him, where ministers and dignitaries sit according to their status, surround him. On the central grounds below, the general public would congregate.
You will be unable to explore the opposite end of the Public Durbar Hall because it is blocked off. However, you can view some lovely oil paintings from certain perspectives. Scan this end for the oil painting of Sita's Swayamwar. The pride of this hall was created by the same Ravi Varma. Also take note of the semi-precious stone floor that surrounds the artwork.
The Mysore Palace was not built with the Public Durbar Hall as part of it. 1938 saw its production, some 25 years later.
Pic Courtesy Internet.